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He may not see martial arts the same way as allot of us
This is the understatement of the year. If I want people to look at me and go wow, I would try and do so by doing solid technique etc, not to mince around and make a martial art into a performance art. XMA? You're having a laugh. Martial = Mars, the big chap who was quite a fan of war. What is warlike about twirling a sword, throwing it up in the air and catching it?
If people want to engage in martial dance (and we ain't talking kenbu here - even that is more combative) then fine - but the ignorant masses truly believe they are watching martial arts - and that ain't good.
It all depends on how you want to see it. If I wanted to be as harsh as you guys are I could make the comment that kendo is a sport in witch the "swordsmen" use improper Tenouchi and Ashi-sabaki at least from the Kenjutsu/ Iaido point of view.
Look at them hopping in the air foot work all over the place. Using grips that are very improper when using a real sword. I could look at this and Say it is a little silly. Things like this are all to common in Chanbara in its most common form. I watch this video and I can see where Chanbara gets its sport roots from. Main reason why when I do Chanbara I spar in what I and a few others call the 3rd form of Chanbara where we use Basic toyama moves in Chanbara. Proper tenouchi at all times, two hands on the sword at all times, and we fallow Hasuji by the toyama standard. In this form ones attempts to do things free style not thinking about points. Normally all that can be a target is. I have even taken to using the new "Hit" series of chanbara swords that are more solid and do not flex as much. Basicly more like a Shinai, but does not deal the same level of pain, but the difference is one you can sure feel
At the end of the Day no matter if its Choken or Shinai they are both just toys to the view of someone else. Obata Sensei made a point to say in an article that: "True kendo using real swords (shinken) is completely different from modern kendo, which uses shinai." Also "Sparring is the mainstay of training in shinai-based kendo, but they also spend a little time explaining how to grip the hilt in order to cut effectively." And the list goes on:
"I saw a program on Japanese-language television in Los Angeles this year in which members of a prefectural kendo federation in northeastern Japan attempted to cut makiwara of thin bamboo as part of a ceremony to mark the beginning of the New Year. It was terrible. None of the shihan or sensei could cut even a single makiwara. Finally, the mayor took the sword and succeeded using a diagonal cut. I was surprised to see that on television. I wondered what kendo has become and I was upset I thought they should change the name from kendo to something else. As I watched their disgraceful performance (maybe the participants didn’t feel ashamed, I don’t know), I felt that I couldn’t just look on it as someone else’s problem, and I strongly felt the need to introduce Shinkendo to Japan."
"Once I received a telephone call from a young swordsman with twenty-five years of experience in kendo. He was a bit proud of himself as a longtime practitioner of kendo and he said he wanted to watch me cut bamboo with a sword. I demonstrated using some of the thick-stemmed bamboo that grows in my backyard. He took some of the pieces I had cut home with him and tried cutting them himself. I suppose he thought he could easily cut the bamboo using the grip he had learned in modern kendo. He was unsuccessful, of course; thick-stemmed bamboo like that is not at all easy to cut. Somewhat disheartened by his failure, he began to question the value and meaning of all the kendo he had learned. He brightened up a little when I told him to think of kendo as just a fine sport."
This video is the best example of what I think Obata's view of "True Kendo" is. But even in this form I think some people would still view it as silly. Even though its my personal opinion that this form of sparring "Gekken" as it is called, is about as "real" as it gets without someone being dead
WHATS THE POINT???
Well we all believe differently. But this is a KENDO forum and XMA or alike is not Kendo. Can you guys just try to cut back on bashing those you dont know about forms you dont do. I have a kendo question..... Why are there no Kesa Giri Gyaku or otherwise? Why are their no Yokogiri? Why is there no thrusts? Without them kendo seems like Nascar... Just missing allot of key things
Fortunately being a kenjutsu & iai practitioner foremostly (and occasional kendoka) your pettiness has gone over my head.
However, I will answer your question with a comment. Kendo ain't everything (same as iai, kenjutsu, taekwondo and that silly XMA horseshit). It has its place but no-one here who is highly skilled in any of these arts thinks their art is all-powerful - and nor do they consider themselves some sort of master like 'certain' people in XMA.
As an aside, I don't see any kendoka on XMA forums telling the dancers how cool kendo is...
While I dont think rhythmic ribbon dancing, or (sorry if I insult anyone in the great north) sweeping ice is a sport, but they are both in the olympics.... so to each his own. Pretty much noone on this form is going to agree with your position because everyone here thinks this guy is a tool. If it looks like a duck and swims like a duck, and weighs as much as a duck well it must be a witch!.
Look at them hopping in the air foot work all over the place. Using grips that are very improper when using a real sword. I could look at this and Say it is a little silly.
Brilliant! You've gone from being mortified that we take the piss out of dudes that have MADE UP WHAT THEY ARE SELLING (big font to get the point across!) to yourself taking the piss out of the highest level of one the most legitimate, and dare I say, traditional Japanese Sword Arts. Your logic is awesome, truly awesome. Obata makes up some shit (dreaming up an excuse about dudes on telly in the process) and you fall at his feet, but kendo dudes in competition who actually DON'T say shit about other stuff (ie DON'T make themselves targets for the interwebz), and who just get on with what they are doing without trying to sell the stuff or publicise themselves, they get your mighty wrath? That's priceless! Your hipocracy, Pricky, is astounding.
If there were a smiley for "Twat" this post would ba lavished with them.
By the way, that video is laughable. Especially the fat chubber half way through. Graceful..... If that's your much vaunted Toyama-ryu, then fuck that for a game of soldiers, I'll stick with my jumping around and looking a bit silly.
It's been a long time since I triple posted (oh the naughtiness!) but you've got me going Ricky.
Do some searching on the interwebz for Obata writing under the pseudonym Sanada. You'll find a fake ninja book where he coined in loads of cash. In fact, the book is still being published. A little further digging gives opinion on him trying to have the rights to Nakamura ryu when they weren't his, and so on and so forth. Yeah, what a great role model.
This kind of stuff, combined with your earlier "quotes" just go to show that no matter how good you are at what you do, you can still have the ethics of a wet fart.
Nice thread contribution Ricky! I was bored out of my skull at work until I noticed your comments.
Keep up the fine work.....
Great I am,
WOW I did not think you could really get any lower. I was wrong I guess. Funny thing about That Gekken video is that it is not a Toyama specific video. A few of the guys are and the Host is the Batto Do head cheese. You just admitted that you would rather cling to you "Pure sport" than look at what realistic sword work looks like. And in the progress of a few posts you managed to talk smack about not only Obata Sensei by saying he "Made things up" but you you poke fun at the Toyama style that was the last sword style used in actual combat..... WOW Are you going to insult Nakamura next? He stated in an article that some of the best kendoka of his time were former members of the Toyama academy... You going to call him a Liar?
I do enjoy the postings of a few here that are more level headed. For those who are not think they make a fool of me just make fools of themselves in their own admitted ignorance to different views of swordsmanship. Someone even had no real comeback and insulted my name. Kinda find it funny that most people here dont use their real names and rather hide behind them (please forgive me if this offends some of the more level headed people here) like cowards. Funny thing about me I use my real name and A video of my crappy cutting so people can put a face to my name. Great majority of crap talkers here... no names and no video of skill to put faces to the names... I am not shocked at all by this. It is long be to common more so on this forum than most other I have been to that some of the people who talk most of the trash are people who take comfort in the fact that they sit next to a computer thousands of miles away from the people they insult.
No that is not intended as tough talk or a threat, just an observation. Funny thing about me is that I have been to Toyama Tai Kai. I have been to a Shinkendo seminar Obata hosted. I have been to a seminar and got a few pointers from Mr Foster. I have been on the mat with allot of these guys and seen them in action. I have trained in similar methods. When I make an observation its from first hand experience. But I also put myself out there and respect the observations of senior people in other arts.
Funny thing people call people like Mr foster a "Tool". But whats funny there is at least he learned how to be a decent person who has an open mind. So who is really the tool? The guy that teaches for the joy of teaching and helping younger generations find the tools to be decent people. Or the guys that are not teaching but talking trash from a computer screen?
Again I am very sorry if I offend any readers with my view. I thank everyone for their time and waste of life energy readying my views And if by the off chance any of use ever meet at a seminar or alike I hope we can part ways on decent terms.....
Hi Ricky, nice to see you so passionate about what you do. I am fairly passionate about JSA myself, and I do both kendo, as well as koryu, for a few years now. As a result of the koryu, I have been able to observe, as well as participate, in a decent amount of tameshigiri, as well as get the kendo view on JSA. As a result, I feel I am reasonably qualified, but by no means the sole authority, on why both Obata and Bren could be viewed as "tools", or "twats" by a good portion of the JSA community, as a result of their behaviour on "Fight Science".
Firstly, with Obata, no matter his pedigree, or perceived (or actual) cutting skill, he is a tool because he a) had his students hold targets for him while he was actually cutting. Granted, they may not have been in a great deal of danger, as I do not know how god-like Obata truly is, but safety is always, ALWAYS, a concern in tameshigiri, and even a tool such as myself can recognize a fellow tool when he does something as dumbass as having a student hold a target that you are going after with a live blade. Stupid. However, not as stupid as b) cutting directly towards a student with a live blade and stopping just short of their head. That is really stupid, tool-like, McDojo behaviour, and Obata should be embarrassed that he put his student at such risk. However, he probably isn't, which in this case, reinforces that, for the purposes of "Fight Science" Obata is a tool.
As for Bren, he is a very handsome, athletic, strapping young lad, who probably has loads of potential, who didn't do a single thing on the TV that looked like a martial art in any way. Sure, it was pretty, for the most part, sure it was flashy, and it took a decent amount of agility and reflexes not to cut himself wide open if that was a real blade, but it wasn't martial arts. If Bren had presented himself as not being a martial artist in terms of real JSA, and had just said "Hey, I'm Bren Foster, XMA/Chanbara master of all things ass-kickery, just not JSA" then I would have looked at his weaponised dance sequences a whole lot differently, and enjoyed them more. However, he didn't do this, and allowed himself to be presented as someone who knew more than just a little about JSA.
As for the ballistics gel, Bren is a tool on Fight Science because of the way he hacks apart the torso, while trying to give the appearance of knowing what he is doing. Which he obviously doesn't. Cutting something isn't particularly hard; cutting consistently and properly with correct technique is something different. Bren had absolutely no idea how to cut a target of that size correctly. Obata is a tool for not agreeing to cut the thing, since he already displayed an egregious level of retardation by endangering his students; cutting ballistics gel would have done little to further damage his rep.
How do I know Bren had absolutely no idea of how to cut a target that size correctly? Because he didn't cut through it correctly. Could I have cut something like that in two in one cut; quite possibly, as I have cut futomaki targets of similar width and density. I have seen people far more skilled than me cut larger targets successfully using correct technique. Most of these people have left their shirts on while doing so (and for good reason! Seriously, some of us need to cut back on the beeru) and no-one spun around in twirly circles, screaming or "kiai-ing" the whole time.
Is Bren a good guy? You say he is, so I am sure he probably is. Him acting the fool by allowing himself to be portrayed on TV as a exponent of JSA, when he obviously isn't, has nothing to do with him being a good guy, or someone we wouldn't want to get to know, or someone who would or wouldn't talk trash about other people. It does however, open him up to criticism from the JSA community for allowing himself to be portrayed as something he isn't.
As for your criticisms of kendo; I can see some of your points. However, if you are ever in Chicago and want to come to a dojo and not be disappointed too much talking and not enough sweating, or "less chat, more mat", feel free to PM me, and I can bring you along to meet a group of serious kendoka, or can even give you a taste of koryu on a different night if you're interested.
As an aside, this is my real name, and I have no problems with either Obata or Bren reading what I said. The evidence speaks for itself. Best of luck in your budo journey. Just remember, in the flames section of KW, we're all just moving targets.
Last edited by Dan Weber; 28th October 2009, 07:50 AM.
Reason: grammatical errors